Top Southern Nevada Recipients of Drug Company Money - 8 News NOW

Top Southern Nevada Recipients of Drug Company Money

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These are among the Southern Nevada health care practitioners who received the most money from drug companies from 2009 through 2012, according to the "Dollars for Docs" database prepared by ProPublica.

RESEARCH

Dr. Steven Folkerth -- An internal medicine specialist, Folkerth topped the list among Southern Nevada medical researchers with $845,012 earmarked in his name from six drug companies. He also topped all Southern Nevada physicians with $848,233 in reimbursements from those companies for all payment categories combined. Having earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1975, Folkerth joined the Clinical Research Center of Nevada in 1996 as a principal investigator and soon became its medical director. The center, whose clinical trials range from vaccines and sleep disorders to diabetes and pain management, also received more than $1.5 million from drug companies over the past four years, by far the most among Southern Nevada businesses that conduct clinical trials.

Dr. Michael Levin -- A Henderson pediatrics specialist who earned his medical degree from Tulane University in New Orleans in 1988, Levin ranked second on the researcher list with $504,299 from drug companies. He also has been affiliated with the Clinical Research Center of Nevada since 2002.

Dr. Vincent Mirkil -- Third on the researcher list with $396,900, Mirkil has a family practice in Las Vegas. Having earned his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1963, Mirkil has participated in clinical tests on behalf of the Clinical Research Consortium. The consortium, whose current and upcoming trials involve asthma, the common cold, peripheral artery disease and rheumatoid arthritis, ranked third among research centers with $633,221 in drug company contracts from 2009 through last year.

Dr. Robert Horne -- A psychiatrist who once served as a professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Horne placed fourth among individual researchers with $361,219 from drug companies. He was the only Southern Nevada physician to also rank among the top five recipients of drug company money for speaking, consulting and travel, according to the ProPublica database. He earned his medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1975, and he founded the International Scouting Museum on Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas.

Horne also served on the Nevada Commission on Mental Health and Developmental Services.

Dr. Samer Nakhle -- Nakhle, who earned his medical degree from Damascus University in Syria in 1991, specializes in endocrinology and landed fifth on the researcher list with $263,003 in drug company contracts. He is tied to Palm Medical Research Center, which ranked sixth in the ProPublica database among Southern Nevada companies that perform clinical research for drug companies. The center's recent work includes studies related to diabetes.

Dr. Atoya Adams -- An internal medicine specialist, Adams graduated with a medical degree from New York Medical College in 2002. While ranking only 11th among individual researchers with $89,312 in drug company contracts, according to the database, her AB Adams PC ranked third among Southern Nevada corporate recipients with $528,720 from drug companies. The company's clinical studies have included diabetes, obesity, insomnia and pain management. While ProPublica tied AB Adams to three pharmaceutical companies, the website CenterWatch.com, which tracks clinical trials, reported that Adams worked with at least nine other drug makers.

Clinical Research Advantage -- Though headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., this clinical trial company was identified by ProPublica as having received nearly $1.1 million in drug company contracts for work performed at affiliated clinics in Southern Nevada. That was good enough for second place on the list of corporate recipients of drug company money for research.

SPEAKING

Dr. Firhaad Ismail -- A Las Vegas endocrinologist who earned his medical degree from the University of Capetown in South Africa in 1974, Ismail collected $446,823 in speaking fees from drug companies from 2009 through 2012, by far the most of any Southern Nevada physician in the database. When ProPublica published an earlier database with information from seven drug companies for 2009 and 2010 Ismail was linked to $303,558 in payments from those businesses, tops in the nation. Ismail's expertise includes diabetes and metabolism, and he has co-authored numerous published studies, many of which have appeared in the journal "Endocrinology."

Dr. John Anooshian -- Psychiatrist Anooshian, who earned his medical degree in 1993 from the University of Nevada, Reno, collected $166,913 in speaking fees from drug companies from 2009 through 2012 to rank second among Southern Nevada physicians. Anooshian works at the nonprofit Mojave Adult, Child and Family Services in Las Vegas. He and his parents set up a scholarship fund for students who attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine, which is affiliated with Mojave Adult.

Dr. Upinder Singh -- A specialist in geriatrics, Singh earned his medical degree from Government Medical College in India in 1992. The $155,750 he collected in speaking fees from drug companies was third highest in the database among Southern Nevada physicians. Singh is a primary care professor at Touro University Nevada in Henderson.

Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang -- Oncologist Vogelzang, who received his medical degree from the University of Illinois in 1974, was right behind Singh with $155,288 in drug company speaking fees. Vogelzang's total drug company reimbursement of $209,327 from 2009 through 2012 was tops among 44 Southern Nevada faculty members or affiliates of the University of Nevada School of Medicine who also were reimbursed. He is on the staff of the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, whose website cites the fact he has authored many peer-reviewed articles and has delivered hundreds of presentations and lectures to peers. Vogelzang previously was director of the Nevada Cancer Institute and the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.

CONSULTING

Horne -- He led all Southern Nevada physicians with $94,741 in consulting fees from drug companies, according to ProPublica. His fees came from Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. Vogelzang, paid $31,943, was fourth in consulting fees.

Dr. James Del Rosso -- A dermatologist, Del Rosso placed second among Southern Nevada health care practitioners with an estimated $59,500 to $67,000 in consulting fees. Having practiced at the Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Clinics since 1997, Del Rosso also is an adjunct clinical professor of dermatology at Touro University. He previously served as head of dermatology at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Del Rosso last summer participated in the study of a new treatment for the inflammatory skin disease atopic dermatitis.

Dr. Barry Cole -- Psychiatrist Cole, who earned his medical degree in 1980 from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, placed third with $51,064 in consulting fees. A pain management specialist, Cole is education director for the Nevada Psychiatric Association and medical director for the Shoals Hospital Senior Care Center in Alabama. He also was vice chairman of psychiatry for the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and statewide medical program coordinator for the Nevada Division of Mental Health in Las Vegas.

Dr. W. Tracy Hankins -- Hankins, a plastic surgeon, collected an estimated $23,000 to $522,500 in consulting fees from drug companies, good enough to crack the top five in Southern Nevada. He earned his medical degree from Indiana University in 1994. The former chief of plastic surgery at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is a partner in the Henderson practice Hankins & Sohn. Hankins has appeared as a guest expert on the TLC television network and "The Doctors" TV show.

TRAVEL

Anooshian, Vogelzang, Ismail, Del Rosso and Horne were the top five Southern Nevada recipients of travel payments from drug companies from 2009 through 2012, according to the database. To see more doctors, visit ProPublica.org.

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